"As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel
over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person
eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and
let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has
welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is
before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the
Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than
another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully
convinced in his own mind. ... "
Food is mentioned numerous times throughout the Bible. It is no wonder God set forth appropriate dietary plans to ensure each of us stays healthy, happy, and secure. Each of us is unique and requires individual food choices that best suit our biological makeup. God makes such note of the above quote telling us to be wary and aware of food choices by listening to what our body dictates.
One staple that has been around since antiquity is the desire to make fermented foods. It is an ancient process of preservation and potentiation, and one that has been used by cultures all around the world, throughout time. These fermented beverages were distinctive to each individual culture, place, time, and value system, and were usually consumed as part of a method in preserving foods during times of unavailability.
It's not surprising that our culture has traded many of the benefits of these healthy foods for the convenience of mass-produced pickles and other cultured foods. Some olives, such as most canned California-style black olives, for instance, are not generally fermented, but are simply treated with lye to remove the bitterness, packed in salt and canned. Olive producers can now hold olives in salt-free brines by using an acidic solution of lactic acid, acetic acid, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, a long way off from the old time natural lactic-acid fermenting method of salt alone.
So Where Can You Find Healthy Fermented Foods?
As fermented foods expert Sally Fallon asks in Nourishing Traditions, with the proliferation of all these new mysterious viruses, intestinal parasites and chronic health problems, despite ubiquitous sanitation, "Could it be that by abandoning the ancient practice of lacto-fermentation, and insisting on a diet in which everything has been pasteurized, we have compromised the health of our intestinal flora and made ourselves vulnerable to legions of pathogenic microorganisims?" Like the $2.97 gallon jars of dill pickles Vlasic sells at a loss at Walmart, are we undermining our health and even economic well-being by our insistence on "more, faster and cheaper?"
Eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut help keep your helpful gut bacteria happy and strong. When these bacteria are in a good balance, they work hard to keep YOU happy and strong. Yes, you heard that right, when your stomach is in order you will feel more joy than ever expected!
Fermented foods contain probiotics. You must scrutinize labels at this point hunting out such new food items as: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Bulgaricus. Check also for labels that include salt as a fermentating agent and not vinegar. These hold the highest amounts of beneficial probiotics.
Top 10 Fermented Foods
One of the best probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade.
Look for brands made from goat’s milk that have been infused with extra
forms of probitoics like lactobacillus or acidophilus.
Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains. High in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, kefir is also rich in antioxidants.
Made from fermented cabbage (and sometimes other vegetables), sauerkraut is not
only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but might also help with reducing
allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamins B, A, E and C. Bubbies is lacto-fermented.
4. Dark Chocolate
Probiotics can be added to high-quality dark chocolate, up to four times the
amount of probiotics as many forms of dairy. This is only one of the health benefits of chocolate.
This refers to super-food ocean-based plants such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae. These probiotic foods have been shown to increase the amount of both Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in the digestive tract.
6. Miso Soup
Miso is one the main-stays of traditional Japanese medicine and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator. Made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes an excellent, quick, probiotic-rich soup, full of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.
Believe it or not, the common green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics. Most infused probiotic pickles are made with a simple brine of water and salt.
A great substitute for meat or tofu, tempeh is a fermented, probiotic-rich grain
made from soy beans.
An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside meals in Korea. Besides beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2.
10. Kombucha Tea
This is a form of fermented tea that contains a high amount of healthy gut bacteria. This probiotic drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your well being and maybe even help you lose weight.
Probiotic rich foods should be ingested twice daily to ensure you have optimal levels of healthy gut flora. So, what are you waiting for? Find you favorite probiotic food today and experience inner joy again! Keeping your digestive system in check helps eliminate depression and allows happiness to permeate your life again.